To Rebrand or Not to Rebrand

 In Strategy and Go to Market

To rebrand or not to rebrand? That is the question! And its answer amounts to more than redesigning logos and swapping out fonts. Even small design changes on your brand can have a ripple effect when it comes to the time and the money spent to implement them. So what are the practical guidelines when it comes to the rebrand or not to rebrand question?

All too often, marketing leadership change brings about the rebrand temptation. So when is it worth it? And when is it a distraction from deeper issues? Check out our guidelines for deciding if it’s really time to rebrand, and if it’s really worth it.

Brand Should Reflect Your Mission, Beliefs and Values. 

Before diving into the question of rebrand or not to rebrand, let’s step back and talk about brand. What is it really?

Brand is more than the product or service that your company offers. It’s more than a snappy logo, because there must be an identity behind the image in order for a logo to be meaningful. And it’s definitely more than a beautiful or trend-setting website — a million more are just a click away. After all, even the world’s most amazing ideas rely on its producers to connect with its consumers.

Brand is a reflection of the soul of a company. It should be a mirror to the mission beliefs and values that give your business life and purpose. A company’s Voice, much like the dulcet tones of your favorite singer, communicates your mission, beliefs and values.

Lasting design, content, and branding should all be built around these values. When you look at your design content, can you see how all of these pieces express the mission, beliefs and values of your company? If not, then it might be time to fix that.

Brand Voice: Make Sure it Says The Right Things.

Voice is more than an important aspect of the brand: it’s essential. Disregard it at your own peril, fair traveler, because:

  • Voice directly influences every major aspect of the brand.
  • It’s what the customer/consumer/client listens to and experiences.
  • It directs the finer points of your design aspects.

A well-formed Voice should express the passion and expertise of your company. But it leaves ample room to build on the brand’s history and changing story, too. Over time, companies grow, and evolve. So should their Voices.

So while the narrative and storytelling may change, the Voice is always centered, or should be, on telling your story. That’s why a firm understanding of the company’s mission beliefs and values is so vital to a successful brand.

Don’t Miss The Forest For The Trees. 

In the decision to rebrand or not to rebrand, remember when you should change in the first place. Here are two compelling reasons to change your logo, wipe the slate clean on your web design, move to an isolated cabin in the woods, and start over.

  1. The business is moving into significantly different territory.
  2. There’s a vastly different approach to how you conduct business.

The common word here is “different.” And neither of those two examples include being bored with the same old stuff.

Has your business changed in some noticeable, major ways? Are the core values of your business nowhere near in line with how your brand presents and relates to the world?

These are the questions that you should be hoping to answer with a rebranding. Nitpicking on fonts and color gradients for the sake of “freshening up” is often needless at best. And it could end up a huge waste of time and money at worst.

So whether you’re considering a total brand overhaul or a smaller change in aesthetics, make sure you’ve got your eye on the bigger picture. Arbitrary revisions are just that – arbitrary. Make sure changes serve a deeper purpose. And especially make sure the issue doesn’t lie elsewhere within the business or your market. So before moving forward, do the right market analysis. Maybe do a quick win-loss study or primary research. Take the time to understand how your business fits into the changing market before beginning the rebranding process.

Know Thyself.

If your reasons to rebrand or not to rebrand are more along the lines of “our logo feels tired” or “time to refresh and update our designs”, think hard. After all, how often does Nike rebrand? Never. Often, it turns out that the one needing to be refreshed and updated… is you, my friend.

Rebrand or same brand, revisit your understanding and definition of business’ core values first. The boost of energy you need may come in another change. It could be in revamping the way you tell your company’s story. Maybe’s it’s in changing your product or service. Or even redefining the Message and Voice.

Moral of the Rebrand or Not to Rebrand Story 

Before you flip the table on your brand, stop. Have a thorough understanding and definition of your company’s raison d’etre. Your business exists for a reason, and that reason can’t always be fully expressed in font changes or logo swaps. Take some time to introspect on the deeper possible sources of your brand-boredom. And you may just find some new momentum along the way.

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